They Said It: Nebraska Players Discuss Huskers' 48-7 Loss to Ohio State
Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

They Said It: Nebraska Players Discuss Huskers’ 48-7 Loss to Ohio State

September 29, 2019

Nebraska’s four captains met with the media Saturday night following the Huskers’ 48-7 loss to Ohio State. The Huskers’ night started rough with turnovers on three of their first fours drives. We heard from quarterback Adrian Martinez, linebacker Mo Barry, offensive tackle Matt Farniok and defensive lineman Darrion Daniels post-game.

Here’s the transcript from their question-and-answer session postgame.

Sophomore quarterback Adrian Martinez

On how he feels the team responded after the first couple of poor drives

“I think in the second half we didn’t give up. We kept fighting and kept trying to score.”

On where his thoughts are after a game like this

“This game is not going to define this team. It won’t. We’re going to learn from it. We’re going to have 24 hours just like always to mourn or rejoice about it. Whatever the case may be, and we’re going to get back to work. It’s going to be a lesson for us. That’s a really good team there. Got to take care of the football. The things we preach, we have to go out there and execute those things.”

On if the second interception took away the momentum of the team

“I wouldn’t say it affected the rest of the game, but it definitely didn’t help us there. I think we definitely had them on their heels on that drive. Turning over the ball regardless is going to kill a drive, kill the spirit a little bit and that’s on me. I threw the interception and it’s something I need to get better at and take better care of the football.”

On the difference between the game last season and this

“We turned over the ball. We didn’t execute nearly as well, and I don’t think I played as well either, and I’m going to shoulder a lot of that responsibility for the offensive side of the ball and putting the defense in bad situations. Again, that’s on me and something I’m going to continue to work on and get better at.”

On if there were any trends from the turnovers from the first to the third

“I wouldn’t say particularly no. They’re playing man. You just kind of go through it and I wouldn’t say one affected the other one in any way or was related to the other in any way shape or form, really.”

On Maurice Washington getting hurt early

“I think our guys are always ready to step up. There’s always guys ready to step up. There’s always guys ready to be receiver, quarterback, running back. I think guys are ready to step up and be ready to play and know what’s going on. It was unfortunate for Maurice and for the team of course, but I think guys are ready to come play.”

On Noah Vedral being supportive

“Personal stuff I’d like to keep between the two of us, but again he’s there for the ups and downs and he gets it. He understands the process and what I’m going through out there. It’s always a common voice and someone who can relate to me, and I definitely appreciate his support. Really the whole quarterback room, all the quarterbacks on the sideline, they’ve been great. I really appreciate those guys.”

On how to find drive-to-drive consistency

“It’s being efficient. Making sure we do our job. Again, it comes down to me, the rest of the guys on the offensive line, the receivers, the running backs. It’s got to be a whole unit effort. I think it’s a word to use there. It’s got to be a consistent effort and something you continue to chip away at. We didn’t bring that today obviously and it’s something we’re going to go back to work on and practice this week.”

On if Ohio State did anything to take JD Spielman away from plays

“I couldn’t point to anything in particular, but I think JD did his job. He was working to get open hard and running good routes. Again, part of that is on me for not getting him the ball, finding ways to get the ball to our guys and missing throws and this and that. Not all of that is on JD”

On if there is going to be any doubt in the locker room

“I’d agree with our coach and something I said earlier. This game will not define this team. We’re going to learn from it and what’s going to define our team is how we finish. We have a whole season ahead of us. A lot of Big Ten West opponents coming up, so what’s not to look forward to. We’re going to get back to work on Monday and handle business.”

On if the under-center plays were put in specific for this week

“I guess we’ll find out.”

 

Senior defensive lineman Darrion Daniels

General thoughts on the game 

“Execution, I felt like physically we were there, they just executed all the little things. I mentioned earlier this week that they’re a team that capitalizes off us missing those little things and they did that tonight. I feel like once we execute on those little details, we’ll be a completely different team.” 

On how good Ohio State was

“They are No. 5 for a reason. I think we’re a good team too. I know we’re a good team too. We could have played a better game. They played a really good game, they were more consistent than we were and that’s what wins games now, not just big plays, but consistency on all three phases of the game. And they were more consistent than we were, which is why the outcome was the way it was.”

On Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields’ ability to run and pass well

“It happens. We got out of those little things like I said. we got out of them. Bad communication among the D-line up front to contain him. Yeah, he’s elusive if he can run, he got out. He capitalized off that, we have to learn how to work around it and once we figure out how to we’ll be straight."

On the little things on third down

“Third down is when all the little things matter. It’s not about making the play, it’s about doing your job at that point and I think that got to us, being on third down everyone wants to make that play. We got out of doing the little things right and just trying to make the play and it definitely did affect us. When we get back to just doing things right and executing all the calls, we’ll be straight.”

On the loss negatively impacting the team in the weeks ahead

“Oh it won’t, everybody in the locker room uses it as fuel. We came a long way, we’ve came a long way and just being able to be in there and fight and nobody gave up is huge. It shows a lot about our personality and what our character is. We took some huge steps. It wasn’t the outcome we wanted but we just have to learn from it and we just need to use it to motivate us and drive us for the upcoming opponents.”

On defending the run game

“Communication, that’s huge. There were situations where linebackers would make the call, and it would make it to one half of the D-line and we didn’t do a good job of relaying it all the way down the line. That was one of them. Line violations, there was one situation where I felt like I had a play on the inside and it hit right outside of me, that’s what a good back does. They make those types of cuts, so violations is another one and just making tackles. That was huge for us, just missing tackles. Like I said, we know what we need to work on which is the good thing. Now it’s just a matter of getting it done."

On how good Ohio State center Josh Myers was

“He is a big boy, a big body. I think I remember hearing he was a converted guard, so he was a guard and moved over to center, so he’s bigger than a majority of the guards I’ve seen. He can move pretty good laterally. I know he’s young but he’s going to bring some problems for somebody later on.”

On the buildup on the weekend, GameDay etc., and did it add to the disappointment of the loss

“Oh yeah, and it’s not even just with all the media. It’s always a buzzkill when we can’t perform in front of our own crowd. Our fans expect so much from us, and it hurts just knowing that we let them down today. But we've got another one at home this upcoming week, and we’ll give them something to cheer for. That’s the plan.”

 

Junior offensive tackle Matt Farniok

On the challenges posed by the Ohio State defensive line

“It’s a talented bunch and a very disciplined bunch. They’re very good at what they do. What it came down to is we failed to do the little things right, whether it was our set lines or where our eyes were or where our hands were, we failed the little things. When you play a really good defensive line, a really good defensive team period, when you fail to do the little things right, it’s going to be a lot harder than it should be.”

On how Ohio State is an example for what NU could be

“They’re exactly where we’re going to be. I fully believe that, under this staff, with this group, with these guys. We’re fighting to be a team like that, plain and simple. That’s why they’re one of the best teams in the country year in and year out. They’re good at what they do. They’re really good at what they do. Honestly, that’s where we’re going to be. I know that’s where we’re going to be, because no one on this team is a quitter. No one here is even allowed to think that. We’re a team that’s going to fight, and we’re going to fight until we’re established to where we need to be.”

On the differences between the 2018 Ohio State game and this year

“I really couldn’t answer that. Whatever it was, I know we practiced our ass off and we worked hard. Whatever it was, we just weren’t clicking as well as we were when we went out there last year, plain and simple. We have to hold on to the ball and give Adrian a lot more time and we have to start controlling the trenches on both sides of the ball. That’s where we really have to start priding ourselves, across the board. What it really comes down to now it shows the emphasis on how important all the little things are, across the board. This one hurts, because we know where we’re headed and we know where we’re going to be. It hurts a little bit but we do that 24-hour rule. As soon as it hits Sunday, get over it, because now we’re on to the next week, plain and simple. We’re going to keep fighting, keep attacking, and we’re going to make Nebraska what it was and the way it’s going to be.”

On why only the captains spoke

“I think it was mutual [between the captains and Frost]. I don’t think many guys wanted to talk, so we figured we’d just take the bit of it.”

On facing Ohio State defensive end Chase Young

“It was a hard challenge, he’s a really good player. He’s a guy that his strengths are my kind of weaknesses. He attacked my edges. I’m a better power blocker and a speed rusher. And that’s awesome. I didn’t come here to play nobodies. I came here to face people who are the top-rated guys in our league, and that’s what I love about Big Ten football, it’s a test. It’s always going to be a test, and no matter what, whatever your struggles are, you have to make sure you’re honing in on them and being the best you can be with them. Otherwise, it’s going to be hard, and I love that. I love facing people like him, because it’s a challenge, and I love challenges. I’ve never been one to shy away from a challenge so I’m very excited I had the chance.”

On whether he told Martinez anything after the game

“Just keep going. Can’t be perfect every single night. Nothing in my mind of my opinion of him has ever changed. I know who he is, and I’ve seen what he can do. He’s a hell of a player, and honestly some of that is on us as an O-line. We've got to give him a better pocket. We have to be more dominating in the line of scrimmage. Honestly, I’m fine with putting all the failures on the O-line because that’s the weight we should bear. We should be the group that takes accountability for all failures, because why not put it on us.”

On what it was like to run more traditional Nebraska plays

“It was fun. I love that kind of football, running downhill and try to smack someone. That plays right into my wheelhouse. It was a lot of fun to get some of those plays and get a feel for them.”

On the upcoming games and how critical they are to the schedule

“Same as any week. Any game you come across, doesn’t matter who you’re playing or what you’re playing, you've got to be ready to attack it. We’re ready to fight, we know where we want to be, we know where we’re going to be. So week by week, whatever our opponents are, we’re ready to attack and we’re going to fight until the very end.”

 

Senior linebacker Mohamed Barry

On emotions after the game

“I just want to watch film. That’s it.”

On the loss and the attention

“It’s real disappointing. It was a great scene. It was a big scene. Something that hasn’t happened in so long. The energy was electric. The stadium was electric. And we didn’t play our best football. And credit to them. That was a great team. A real good team. The [offensive] linemen. The best I’ve played. [They’re] strong. Fired off. Great at single blocks. Running backs ran hard. Quarterback is smart and makes good decisions. We didn’t play our best football.”

On the difference in Ohio State’s offensive line from last year

“I can’t even begin to compare the two. It was way different. They’re hungry. You can respect that as a competitor. Real hungry to get up and single block the linebackers. That was a pretty good line. “

On last year's game compared to this one

“First, I have to watch the film. I’m not going to make up stuff or say anything. Probably the emotion of the game is still getting to me now. I will say that they were better, way better than they were last year, and I felt like the team last year probably wasn’t the most hungry. This team is loaded with hungry young players. You can see that when they played this year. They were real hungry to be out there and make plays, and we didn’t execute like we did last year. And that’s the biggest thing.”

On not being able to stop the run

“A combination. That’s a pretty good team. I’m going to say that. If we did everything perfect that they wouldn’t have, good plays. Because when you play football and you’re playing a good team, no matter if it’s two good teams going at it, it’s going to be good plays on both sides. They did great things. The lineman really shot out. Single block well. And the running backs ran hard in the run game. That was the difference. On the flip side, we didn’t execute like we should have.”

On the mentality of the team

“Looking to flip the momentum. In football, it’s always that you start off good and then there’s probably one or two drives where it’s like dang. And then you find it again and then comes the momentum. It’s like a roller-coaster in football. You've got to catch it and then run with it when you have it. We [weren’t] able to catch it when it was our time and flip that momentum. That’s all I was thinking about. I wasn’t thinking about, when you think about how I feel right now., it doesn’t matter in football and it never will. It’s a four quarter game and anything can happen in any quarter. Any drive. A play could change the entire course of a game. That’s what I was thinking about and telling myself.”

On the mentality going forward

“You can’t get to that point. Of course, I’m angry. Of course, I know Coach Frost is angry. We’re competitors and a lot of players on our team are competitors. I’ll be taken back if they weren’t angry today. The thing is you [have] to bounce back. You [have] to play your best football each week. I know it’s a cliche thing to say, and some that you don’t want to hear but that’s a fact. What are you going to do? You [have] to bounce back and play your best football next weekend. That’s all that matters. That’s what we’re going to do.”

On the team's morale going forward

“You don’t blame no one but yourself. You watch the film, you criticize yourself. You allow your coaches to help you, you allow your teammates to help you, and you correct what you need to correct, and the team is going to be better and we are going to stay together and that’s all that matters.”

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